I’ve been reading a new series recently.
It’s not actually a new series, it’s just new to me. It’s one that I didn’t pick up for a long time, because it was always marked as Epic Fantasy, and that word Epic always puts me off. I don’t get as much reading time these days as I used to (kids will do that to you) and I’m a bit compulsive about reading a book once I’ve started, so those longer books tend to mess with the rest of my life and drive me a little crazy. And what is Epic except long, right?
And I will admit here, the covers of books 1-7 aren't amazing, so that put me off as well.
But the first book in the series is free, and I read another series by the same author and really liked it. So I took a chance. The series is called The Emperor's Edge by Lindsay Buroker, and man, do I love it!
The first book is called, funnily enough, The Emperor’s Edge. It’s well written, has a great plot that moves quickly along, and never quite turns in the way you expect.
The main character Amaranthe is so fantastic I wish I’d invented her myself. She’s capable, strong and could charm the last drop of water off a sole survivor in a scorching desert. She’s also inventive and smart, a clean freak, and somehow finds herself on the wrong side of the law, despite starting out as an Enforcer, the book’s version of a police officer.
It all takes place in an industrial revolution-style world, where steam engine vehicles and swords mix with guns and a lack of lavatories. There’s some magic, although it’s mostly disowned in the nation where the action takes place, and there are lots of crashes, things being blown up, and fight scenes.
But it's not just all about the fast-paced action (although there is a lot of that). Amaranthe surrounds herself, almost by accident, with a group of misfits, all of whom soon dedicate themselves to her cause for one reason or another – including the infamous and deadly assassin, Sicarius. There was something about the clearly drawn characters and the way they interacted together that drew me in to the series, and wouldn’t let me leave.
I have been compulsively purchasing the series since I started book one, and am now in the middle of book eight, Republic. All of them have been worthwhile reads, and I would recommend them to anyone who enjoys great characters, a rollicking plot and a unique world in which to spend time.